Jose Mourinho aims thinly veiled swipe at Roma president Dan Friedkin | Football

Jose Mourinho was dismissed by Roma after two-and-a-half years in charge (Picture: Getty)

Jose Mourinho has aimed a not-so-subtle dig at Roma’s owner and president Dan Friedkin in the wake of his dismissal, claiming he was ‘eliminated’ by ‘someone who knows little about football’.

The self-proclaimed Special One was sacked by Roma two-and-a-half years into his tenure last month, with the Giallorossi managing just one win in six in Serie A and languishing down in ninth place.

Club legend Daniele De Rossi was subsequently unveiled as Mourinho’s successor at the Stadio Olimpico and the Italian made a winning start to his reign as Roma ran out 2-1 victors over Verona.

Two wins followed against Salernitana and Cagliari before De Rossi suffered his opening defeat as manager at the hands of top-of-the-table Inter Milan last weekend.

Mourinho has kept a relatively low profile after losing his job, though widespread reports indicate the Portuguese is keen to return to management, with the Saudi Pro League, Napoli and even Manchester United mooted as potential destinations.

In an interview with Football.com, the 61-year-old free agent suggested his return wasn’t far away and took the opportunity to aim a thinly veiled swipe at Roma’s head honcho Friedkin for pulling the trigger on his reign.

‘The European competitions are about to begin, in particular the Champions League, perhaps the world’s most important competition on the calendar,’ the ex-Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss said.

Jose Mourinho embraces Roma president Dan Friedkin

Roma suggested Roma chief Friedkin ‘knows little about football’ (Picture: Getty)

‘I won’t be there at these final stages, not because I have already been eliminated, but because I was “eliminated” by someone who knows little about football. 

‘That’s life, full of ups and downs, and I’m growing, despite the unexpected and unfair dismissal.

‘But I will return, and with even more enthusiasm and confidence, for these UEFA matches.’

The Special One is keen to make a speedy return to management (Picture: Getty)

Clearly missing the thrill of competing in the Champions League, Mourinho describing the start of the knockout phase of Europe’s premier competition as a ‘truly special’ moment in the season.

‘I have participated in many matches and have reached the final several times,’ he added.

‘They are truly special matches, for us coaches, for the fans and, obviously, for the players. 

The Portuguese won the Europa Conference League with Roma in 2022 (Picture: Getty)

‘I therefore have enough experience and knowledge to know how to move forward, even when we have opponents with much greater potential than ours.

‘At this stage I always keep in mind: in the first game you always play to win.

‘In the second, you know what you need to go to the next round: win with one goal, draw or even lose with one or two goals. And knockout matches are managed on this basis.’

De Rossi’s Roma take on Feyenoord in the Europa League this evening (Picture: Getty)

Speaking ahead of the first leg of Roma’s Europa League knockout-round playoff versus Feyenoord, De Rossi revealed that he had been ‘studying’ his predecessor’s work but had his own ‘vision’.

‘I studied Mourinho’s Roma very carefully, even before when I was simply a fan,’ the newly appointed Roma head coach told reporters.

‘He achieved great results in Europe and went all the way for two years running.

‘Having said that, every coach has his vision, his preferences and a different approach.

‘I will make a few changes, but I will never do a complete squad rotation of 11 players against Frosinone.

‘It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t help keep players in shape and makes it difficult for those who have never played together.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, 
Twitter and Instagram.


MORE : Jose Mourinho ‘learning German’ and wants the Bayern Munich job


MORE : Jose Mourinho names three dream signings he missed out on over his career


MORE : Ed Woodward responds to claims he vetoed Manchester United transfer ‘for commercial reasons’

General Sport